ALBUM: ‘Caracal’ – Disclosure


Caracal, also known as desert lynx, is a type of wild cat that hunts in night, normally in solitude. They are best known for their powerful, agile hind legs that enable them to leap tenaciously at least 3 meters (or 9 feet) in the air to catch birds on their wing. This hunting cat’s great leap is metaphorically significant to British duo Disclosure’s transition to realms of pop music in the form of their sophomore album, Caracal.

I read a premature evaluation of Caracal that refers to it as the Lawrence brothers’ “trojan horse to pop” and I guess the writer had a point. Listeners that anticipate a continuation of Disclosure’s magnum opus, 2013’s Settle, would find it difficult to, well, settle down quite comfortably in familiar territory, because this is not Guy and Howard picking up where they left off. Admittedly, I find this record’s strongest cuts lacking the sense of urgency that ‘Latch’ or even ‘White Noise’ had. I guess it’s my worst nitpick about it, which is what I get whenever I compare, which is unavoidable. Whereas Settle sounded smart, sharp, even high brow, I’d say – Caracal embraced the liberty of fun and being unexacting. It aims to take the center stage when its predecessor was perfectly fine running – and dominating – the show from the background.

TRACK: ‘This Song Is Not About You’ – Flying Ipis

The latest offering from Flying Ipis is a remarkable collision of the quartet’s well-known manic sound – both on stage and in the studio – and dangerous, come-hither charm: a result so palpable in ‘This Song Is Not About You’, it pounds through the skin. Its most forthright credit arguably goes to Ymi Castel’s ominous guitar riffs, a less cathartic version to its predecessor ‘This Song Is About You’, but with more sensual frenzy apt for a catwalk – as the band intended. But for all its tenacity, the riffs did not upstage the rest of song’s elements, with the rhythm section more than capably providing a solid structure and pace for the beat, both the bass and drums making their presence felt steady, but pronounced. Even Deng Garcia’s voice is feverish, almost restrained, singing the reprise with daring and a little bit of mischief. ‘This Song Is Not About You’ resembles not much of Flying Ipis’ past work (with the exception of ‘Sssikreto’ and its gratifying bass lines), although their sound and charm, as described above, are invariably embedded to their band identity that it further highlights a stronger balance between their brazen musicality and empowered sexuality.

All Things Kink

This Friday, September 25 (a holiday, so no excuses to miss out), Vandals On The Wall and Gabi Na Naman Productions will be releasing KINK mixtape – a curated mix of my favorite kind of music. *wink*

The 20-track mixtape includes tracks from Paola Mauricio, #100YearsOfSadness, Farewell Fair Weather, Jensen and The Flips, Asch Catabona x Clara Benin, SUD, MilesExperience, and Flying Ipis – who will also be performing that night.

Head to Route 196 early to grab your hands on *wink* a physical *wink* copy of the mix, available in limited number only.

RSVP here. See you there!

I don’t blog much about events, even the ones I co-produce/am a part of (sorry!), so you know that I am excited for this one.

I was writing some stuff last week while listening to this playlist I made a while back (which you can download if you want) and sorta lead to me writing a whole other thing.

This kink business is rather inspiring. ;)

TRACK: ‘Slow (Remix)’ – Tandems’91


The unapologetic sensuality of Jensen and the Flips’ ‘Slow’ is among the band’s – and in extension, the song’s – quintessential merits when it comes to crafting their own brand of suave Motown hits. It is the sort of song that attracts tension and surprises, more so ever, with electronic music wunderkind(s) Tandems’91 remix – which eliminates the coyness of the original and switching it to a dancefloor-ready smash. Tandems’91’s retro discotheque approach to the track was fairly conservative, sparing radical changes but playing with the overall pace. Moreover, its poppy embellishments and house music-esque buildup further defined the original’s charm – a sweet-talker’s 411 to romance. 

Photo: Nelson Villamayor

TRACK: ‘The Great Divide’ – Half-Lit


Karen O’s “The Moon Song” is heartbreakingly beautiful in its earnestness and unadulterated hope. It brings the promise of indefinite tomorrows in almost sugar-coated bliss. And its vulnerability echoes similarly with “The Great Divide,” the latest effort from Half-Lit, BP Valenzuela’s ‘post-midnight’ side project.

Chronicling the ghost of a relationship that is riddled with ‘what ifs’ and ‘could have beens’, there’s a sense of lingering in those six-plus minutes, easing up the pace, and finally ending this chapter. This feels like BP Valenzuela’s attempts to convey her message, a fragment of herself, in a manner and execution that is no less personal in her work in The Neon Hour and be/ep, but in a form of susceptibility that befits Half-Lit as how she means it. “The Great Divide” is a pensive kind of sadness that already has depth and weight, without the need for elaborate arrangement or emphasis.

Candy Breath: A Playlist


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I just watched Chasing Amy (Dir. Kevin Smith, 1997) last night and all I can say is that I honestly believe that it depicts heterogenous relationships in a fairly accurate manner and that’s saying something, since this was first released almost two decades ago.

Also, I have a fairly pleasant Spotify playlist this week. Thought I’d share.

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Image above: Peter Kaaden